Immigration courts: troubled system, long waits, SFGATE, 4-4-11
This article in the SFGATE covers several common experiences within the immigration courts. The average length of an immigration case to be resolved is 639 days. Many of the troubles are due to lack of time, and intensified pressure from ICE to increase deportation rates.
In addition to fears of deportation, anti-immigrant attitudes, the immigration courts are another way in which undocumented immigrants are reminded of their second-class status in this country. The article reports many inadequacies of the immigration courts such as long waits, and inadequate preparation by attorneys, that often lead to decisions before all the facts are in. In several circumstances, individual’s medical conditions were not attended to in detainment. One man, a diabetic from Guinea, was denied medical attention and was given spoiled food. This is the collateral damage, of the Obama administration’s increase in the number of deportations.
CA anti-immigrant bills die in committee, SFGATE, 4-5-11
Assemblymember Tim Donnelly from San Bernardino tries to get two pieces of legislation through committee but fails. The first would have required identity check for any one applying for public benefits; the second would have allowed cities to be sued for Sanctuary city policies.
Unfair to immigrants, costly to tax payers, NYTIMES, 4-4-11
Opinion piece by Scott Stringer and Andrew Friedman that suggests that the money spent on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants is misspent. The authors notes that over half of the people held at Rikers with immigration related charges do not have criminal charges.
Alabama house passes Arizona style immigration law, AL.com, 4-5-2011
Not to be outdone by their counterparts in the Arizona, many representatives are pursuing anti-immigrant policies in their own states. In this article the republican sponsor of the bill explained: “…bill attacks every aspect of an illegal alien’s life.” The ultimate purpose of these new sets of laws is to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they leave on their own accord. Little regard is taken for the fact that these laws often impact all brown people, those with and those without the right documents.
7 Students arrested for protesting anti-immigrant laws in Georgia, CNN, 4-5-2011
Students blocked traffic at an Atlanta intersection to draw attention to immigration reform, and specifically the DREAM act. Of note: according to recent census data ¼ of children under 18 are Hispanic. Included in the article was Obama’s reaction to the failure of the DREAM act, to make it clear that he had not completely forgotten about the Latino vote: “We didn’t get it passed this time, but I don’t want young people to be giving up because if people in the past had given up, we probably wouldn’t have women’s rights, we wouldn’t have civil rights,” Obama said during a Univision-sponsored town hall meeting at a High School in Washington.